I grew up when Diff'rent Strokes was a popular television show. That's no big deal unless your last name is Willis. To this day I still hear those famous words popularized by Arnold: "Whatchu talkin bout Willis?" Usually they are uttered by someone looking at me as though I may have never heard it before. Yeah, right! Well this blog is what I (Willis) am talkin bout...my thoughts, observations & opinions. Enjoy...

Monday, September 10, 2007

My ideal church gathering...

Foundational Scriptures…

KEY: Romans 12:1: Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.

Mike Root: “We will have Sunday only Christians as long as we have Sunday only worship.”

Colossians 3:17: And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Hebrews 13:15-16: 15Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.


Mike Root: “Together is one thing you can’t do alone!”

Mike Root: “The saddest indictment of any church is that it is structured in such a way that members can attend the assembly and still be alone.”

Do I need to “go to church” to be with God? NO! I need to go to be with YOU!


Hebrews 10:22-25: 23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Acts 2:42: They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

The apostles' teaching…
OUT: Dry lectures from the pro. Surface level stuff.
IN: Deeper teaching. Interaction. Application. Questions. Answers. Equipping.

The fellowship…
OUT: Turn around & shake hands “fellowship.” Fellowship only happens outside the “service” mentality.
IN: Table fellowship = eating toget
her…perhaps breakfast before or lunch after. TIME to talk, pray, encourage, share life, etc.

The breaking of bread…
OUT: Chiclets & mini-shot glasses & isolated spiritual fetal position “communion.” Synchronized communion rituals.
IN: Breaking bread, taking together, sharing thoughts on Jesus and the cross. Communing as families, as small groups, etc.

OUT: Predictable invocation-benediction stuff.
IN: Authenticity. Variety of times and lengths. Silence. Large group. Small group.

The Sunday gathering becomes active instead of watching the show. Authenticity trumps “excellence.” People will be central to what happens and not just on the sidelines.

THINGS THAT ARE OUT: Cooker cutter service. Ruts & routines. Predictability, boredom & auto-pilot services. Formality. Cathedral thinking. The pulpit. The “communion table.” Offering trays or bags. The “invitation.”

THINGS THAT ARE IN: Anticipation. Participation. TOGETHERNESS. Informality. We are the TEMPLE thinking. People not performance. Love, edification, equipping, encouragement, KOINONIA!

Approximate length: 2 hours.

Possible flow: (With lots of flexibility!)

  • Breakfast
  • Prayer in small groups
  • Large group singing – some planned – might be some requests. VARIETY. Much more interactive & less about presentation, lighting & mood etc.
  • Communion within groups – discussing the gospel & remembering Jesus. It may happen within the small group “teaching time” or during a meal.
  • Intro of Bible teaching (large group)
  • Small group breakout for discussion, questions, application, etc.
  • Large group debriefing (elders lead)
  • Singing & prayer...
  • Hangout (People still needing attention, encouragement will hang around)
  • Giving? (Boxes located at doors)
  • Evangelism? It will happen here, but it isn’t the purpose. It is the by-product.
  • Elders & perhaps deacons and teachers will lead small breakout groups. The leaders can identify individuals or families in need of further attention.

    See Acts 2:42-27; Acts 20:6-12; I Corinthians 11-14

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